BMC Send me an email if you will. firstname.lastname@example.org
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"Some friends and I are planning to do some camping/fishing around this area either the middle of October or November; and I am looking for any info I can get. We are considering either Snowbird or Joyce Kilmer. I have been to both; but haven't fished either. For this time of year, which would be your destination? I know Slickrock is a popular destination-- although I've heard it is not fishing as well as it used to. What about Deep Creek (the JK one, not the Smokies one)? Or the Cheoah between Santeetlah and the Little Tennessee? If we were to go to JK, these are the creeks I'm thinking about-- would anybody advise differently? Would we better off just camping beside Big Snowbird (we will probably hike in)? Would you recommend concentrating our efforts above or below Big Falls (Mouse Creek Falls, I believe...) Also, if I was planning two trips-- one in October and one in November-- which would you spend in the JK/Snowbird area and which in the Smokies? "
Sorry so long for the reply. Looked like Jim C had covered it though. If I were going to be there at that time I would be very mindful of the hunters.
WESTERN BEAR SEASON
Oct. 12 – Nov. 21
Dec. 14 – Jan. 1
West of the boundary formed by I-77 from the Virginia state line to
I-40 and I-40 west to N.C. 18 south to the South Carolina state line.
Note: Further game land restrictions may apply. See the Game Lands
section for specific game land rules.
My father in law and I have hiked up there during hunting season, it made him very nervous, probably should have made me nervous as well, and might now, then it didn't!
I'm not sure what kind of fishing you like or just how long you're planning on staying. I fish mostly Snowbird as it is called below the confluence of Big and Little Snowbirds. Little Snowbird runs largely silty due to all of the ATV use in the backcountry of that drainage. For that matter the Eastern Band of the Cherokee have most of Little posted. The campsites up on Big Snowbird will be full of hunters during the hunting seasons.
There are campsites along the Lake near the Joyce Kilmer or the group campground at Joyce Kilmer might be a thought as well. I really can't speak to the quality of Big Santeetlah in the fall. I have heard it is a good big brown stream in the fall, and have seen big browns in it occasionally, I,m just not on it enough to say.
If staying several days and wanting to make short trips to different creeks, you might give Deep Creek Campground a thought or stay over near the Nantahala, lots of campgrounds over there. That would put you on Deep Creek (a prime brown trout stream in the fall), The Nan DH and mainstream, the Tuckaseegee (sp?) a good size DH river near Dillsboro, and the streams in and around Cherokee, Smokemont. All of these streams would be within 30 minutes of your tent. Snowbird is pretty average during the fall, you might catch a big brown, you might catch a big stocked rainbow that time of year, or the smaller stockers and wild fish, but it isn't "on fire" that time of year by any means.
The Cheoah between Santeetlah and Calderwood is warm water, full of smallmouth (I hear) not trout. Deep Creek feeds into Cheoah River is a small creek for wild trout which allows bait fishing. It appears very steep where it drains into the Cheoah, I've never fished it.
If you did stay over near JK you would be near the feeders to Big Sant. West Buffalo and it's feeders; Squally and ...... (can't remember). Squally is full of small rainbows, said to be the kind of stream that will yield 100 fish days (4-8") at least prior to the draught.
If you have other questions or I missed something, certainly let me know. I really like Hazel that time of year as well, if not too cold, and it shouldn't be crowded. Plenty of water this year in all of the streams in the Robbinsville-Joyce Kilmer area.
We've decided to got to the Park for this trip; but Snowbird is still an area I want to go back to. I will send you an email with some further questions after I get back from the Smokies next week.
Hope you all enjoy yourselves. Give a report when you return!
Have you spent any time at your cabin this fall?
I was thinking that it was about the time of year for you to start catching those massive lake run fish.
Looking forward to some updates on this thread.
Cody "Grannyknot" Edrington
I have been, no fish yet. I was hopeful when I caught the male a few frames back in the thread, it's fins were just about perfect, and what a kype. I really believe though that this fish was a hatchery fish, overfed on growth hormones. I have not caught them before Thanksgiving weekend. That is when I will really start focusing on them. Lot of water in the creek last weekend.
Jswitow--My local sources (a couple of the best fishermen not only in Graham County but anywhere in WNC) tell me that otters have really been working on the lake run fish the last three or four years at the mouth of the creek. I've seen them a couple of times, and apparently the numbers of lake-run trout are way, way down as compared with say 5 or 10 years ago. Still, one of them caught more than 20 of the bruisers last year. Jim Casada
I was in the Santeetlah headwater area last weekend and can personally attest to the number of bear and boar hunters in the area. Must have seen 15 to 20 trucks with dogs on FS 81 (and one deceased bear strapped to the top of one of the dog kennels.)
This brought up a simple curiosity question. Why is the season split with a 2 or 3 week off period in the middle? Not meaning to question the wisdom of NCWRC - just curious.
I agree Old Tom....I feel like i need a cheat sheet in the Nantahala NF & Cherokee NF to determine what I am about to walk in to.
Bear, Boar, Deer, 1st or 2nd half of the season, dogs or no dogs.....
If you will, send me an email. I evidently did not save your's.